1. Identify the key users of the improvement
(Patients are used as a general group in the steps below)
Make sure you have identified the types of patients an improvement is designed for. It pays to select a range of types to check the improvement is working equally well for all, or to assess that it is working best for those who need it most (without compromising the service for others).
2. Have patients experience the improvement
You can set up the experience by using prototyping, or by working with patients who have experienced the improvement during actual service delivery. Either way, it helps to observe them having the experience (see patient shadowing to learn first hand what happens).
3. Have patients tell you about their experience and then reflect on the improvement
Ask patients to tell you the story of their experiences with the improvement. Use open-ended, non-specific questions inviting the patient to re-experience it fully.
Recording patient stories on video is a very useful way of capturing critical aspects of the experience.
4. Encourage patients to reflect on the improvement
Work carefully with patients through the questions to help them evaluate the improvement. The questions need to be paced carefully so patients have time to reflect on and answer them fully. Some paraphrasing and much encouragement should be used.
5. Document your findings about the experiences carefully.
Use the biggest difference template to help you do this
6. Identify changes to improve experience
Review your findings. Identify ways to reduce negative effects and accentuate positive effects of the improvement.